HEAD-TO-HEAD: Dons must replicate Blackburn performance to take on Wigan Athletic

Ed Upson battles the Wigan midfield earlier this season
Ed Upson battles the Wigan midfield earlier this season

Dons must perform like they did in the second half against Blackburn Rovers if they are to get anything from their game with Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

Both goal-scorer Peter Pawlett and manager Dan Micciche admitted Dons showed title-chasing Rovers too much respect in the first half at Stadium MK last Monday, falling 2-0 down before the break thanks to two Adam Armstrong goals.

However, a rejuvenated Dons side emerged for the second half and had the better of the play, pulling one back and having more chances despite losing 2-1.

This Saturday, Dons travel to the DW Stadium to take on another League 1 contender in Wigan Athletic, and midfielder Ed Upson said he and his team-mates need to reproduce their second half performance against Blackburn.

"I told the lads I didn't think we should get too down about the result because, in particular, in the second half we matched one of the best teams in the division," said Upson. "We were always going to lose a game on the run, we just have to carry on.

"We know Wigan are a very good team, one of the best. We have to go there with everything we have and take some of Monday's second half tactics into the game."

Micciche, who missed out on the Manager of the Month award to Wigan boss Paul Cook, added: "We're going there to win the game. You can't target individual games and say you want to win this one. If you look at the last block of games, you probably wouldn't have predicted winning at Gillingham, but winning at home to Blackpool. We go into every game to win it, never hoping for draw.

"They've got a clear way of playing. We all know about Nick Powell, Will Grigg and Ryan Colclough. They've got good players. But what I've learned from Monday is while we have to be aware of the opposition, we're MK Dons - we've got good players ourselves, we won't fear Wigan.

"We're in a good place, we just need to be focused on what we're doing and I'm confident we can put on a performance."

Dons have never beaten Wigan Athletic in their three previous meetings, but drew 3-3 in a dramatic FA Cup clash back in January 2014 in their only trip to the DW Stadium.

Wigan lost last time out, going down 2-1 away at Portsmouth, which saw them drop out of the top two.